Department of Knowledge Technologies

Prof. dr. Marko Debeljak

Prof. Dr Marko Debeljak is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Knowledge Technologies at the “Jožef Stefan” Institute, Slovenia, and Associate Professor of Ecology. He has a background education in systems ecology. His research interest is the development and application of AI methods for advanced decision support systems for the sustainable development of the agri-food sector. His work focuses on addressing challenges in various agronomic areas, such as the environmental impact of genetically modified crops, risk assessment and management of pesticide use, biological pest control, the impact of different soil management practices on soil functions and ecosystem services, sustainability assessment of agri-food supply and value chains and networks, and facilitating the commercialisation of innovative young farmers through green public procurement.

This approach is based on transdisciplinary collaboration in the agri-food sector, while the results of his research work provide flexible and reliable decision support systems for its key decision-makers.

09:45 – 10:45 Artificial intelligence in agri-food, best practices

  • System for assessment and management of sustainability of agri-food chains

The Decision Support System (DSS) PathFinder has been developed for the assessment and management of the sustainability of agri-food value chains.  It assesses the sustainability according to the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, economic, and social, as well as their intersections: equitability, bearability and viability. The system provides partial sustainability assessments for individual links in the agri-food chain (production, processing, transport and distribution, market and retailers, and consumers) and individual sustainability pillars, as well as an overall sustainability assessment and management of the whole chain. It enables the users to modify the input variables, so as to ascertain optimal combination of input variables of the individual link in the agri-food chain that lead to satisfactory partial or overall sustainability. It also offers suggestions for changes in certain areas of the agri-food chain to improve its overall or partial sustainability. The DSS is developed primarily for policy makers who are responsible for development of sustainability strategies, polices and regulations towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Its applicability will be demonstrated on national and international case studies of agri-food chains.